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Jeopardy! Sensation: Here's How I Learned So Much Trivia

James Holzhauer scored 15th win Wednesday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2019 1:21 AM CDT
This image made from video shows "Jeopardy!" contestant James Holzhauer on an episode that aired on April 17, 2019.   (Jeopardy Productions, Inc. via AP)

(Newser) – After Jeopardy! sensation James Holzhauer won his 13th straight game in an episode that aired Monday, Alex Trebek joked that he would soon run out of loved ones to acknowledge. The Naperville, Illinois, native proved Trebek wrong with a shout-out to the Chicago Bears during his 15th win Wednesday, NBC reports. He turned the Bears' "C" logo in an "E" and used it in his name. Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler who now lives in Las Vegas, is also a fan of the Vegas Golden Knights. His victory Wednesday brought his total winnings up to $1,135,175, second only to all-time champ Ken Jennings.

Holzhauer, who broke the $1 million mark Tuesday, has "taken the game to its logical conclusion," Oliver Roeder writes at FiveThirtyEight. His method, which involves going for high-value clues before sniffing out the Daily Doubles, is a "final, full realization of the strategic potential locked within its giant board," Roeder writes. Holzhauer, 34, tells the New York Times that he was "never a diligent student," but reading children's books helped him learn a lot of trivia. "I was thinking, what is the place in the library I can go to to get books tailored to make things interesting for uninterested readers? Boom. The children’s section," he says. "Getting onto Jeopardy! was a pet project my whole life, so it was something I was willing to work really hard on."

(Read more Jeopardy stories.)

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